Saturday, April 28, 2007


It may look like a regular, everyday, run-of-the-mill pigeon hiding behind that leaf.....Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon 02

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

but it's actually a RARE species of pigeon known as the "Bleeding Heart Pigeon"....
Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon
It's rare because it's only found in the Philippines, and because it is being theatened by hunting, and deforestation. Five separate species have evolved on different islands of the Phillipines: Mindoro (Gallicolumba platenae), Negros (Gallicolumba keayi), Mindanao (Gallicolumba criniger), Sulu (Gallicolumba menagei), and this particular one, which is the Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon (Gallicolumba luzonica). As its name indicates, it is found on the island of Luzon, but also on the Pollilo Islands. It's scientific name not only alludes to the bird's home island, but to its character as well... galli=chicken and columba=dove.... in fact, this bird spends most of it's life on the forest floor, much like a chicken, foraging for food. It will fly up to low lying branches to roost, or nest. It is very shy, quiet, and quite stealthy. I'm hoping it only stays rare, and never becomes endangered or extinct.

I took these pictures at the Eagle Point Dive Resort in Anilao, Batangas, where they have an aviary.
Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon

Happy Photohunting folks!


Monday, April 23, 2007

A Stellar Earth Day

A belated Happy Earth day everyone! Yesterday's Earth Day weather for us here in Toronto was stellar... 23C, breezy, and sunny. I ended up spending the entire day outside, doing my reading under the gazebo, and cleaning up the yard and planting some vegetable seeds in between.

The evening proved to be just as stellar, not just weather-wise but astronomically speaking as well. It was the first time this year that the conditions were so favourable for stargazing; warm temperatures, clear skies, and lots of stuff to see up there....Crescent Moon and Venus So I ended up spending the entire night outside as well. That's a beautiful crescent moon that's joined Venus up there in the sky....
Crescent Moon and Venus
Tonight I thought I'd try an experiment.... my hypothesis was that my run-of-the-mill 5.1MP Sony Cyber-shot was totally unfit for astrophotography... I was wrong, it's not totally unfit, it actually took some pretty decent images! So maybe I can combine my hobbies of astronomy, photography, and blogging without having to buy new equipment? Here's what that beautiful crescent moon looks like through the telescope....LunaYou can see the Sea of Crisis (a.k.a. Mare Crisium - the darker circular region at approx. 4 o'clock), the Sea of Fertility (Mare Fecunditatis - left of Crisium), the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquilitatis - above Fecunditatis), and the Sea of Nectar (Mare Nectaris - to the left of the previous three) pretty well.

Here are some close-ups....
Luna 030Luna 083
The crater left of center, is called Theophilus and is 100 km in diameter, the crater beneath it is called Cyrillus and is 98 km in diameter, the darkened crater to the right of the first two is called Catharina and is also 100 km in diameter....Luna 063
Unfortunately, this is the best I could do for Saturn...can you make it out? The Cyber-shot doesn't do it justice....Saturn
At around 1AM, Jupiter popped up, but again, the camera doesn't do it justice. Through the telescope you can actually see the lines from Jupiter's clouds, and you can see Jupiter's moons as well.... the Cyber-shot doesn't pick up any of that stuff....Jupiter
There was also a meteor shower going on up there tonight (Lyrid Meteor Shower), but I couldn't stay up for it anymore. You can still catch it up to April 25th, just click the above link to find out more about it....

Maybe I'll try to get some more shots of the moon when it's fuller, but as for the planets, I'll need to get some better equipment before I can really blog some decent astrophotography for y'all.... Okay, I need to sleep! Keep looking up.... zzzzzzzzz......


Saturday, April 21, 2007


There really are STEPS hiding underneath all that snow.....

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

And I'm happy to report that all that snow has finally melted away... no more risk of broken butt bones here. Happily, this weekend is supposed to be filled with sunshine and 20's C temperatures (which I learned from my Atlanta trip equals 70's F).... I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that Old Man Winter has finally decided that the last couple weeks' crazy weather was his final word for the year.

Happy Photohunting folks, hope you have a sunny and warm weekend!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

It's been two weeks since I got back from my trip to Atlanta, and I haven't even blogged about it yet, so I guess it's about time I shared some of my pics.... Hop on board, it's just a quick tour...Welcome to the United States of America.... That's the Atlanta skyline in the distance...
Whaaaat? Spring's almost over down here.....
As I mentioned before, I stopped off at the Atlanta Cathedral of Christ the King....
Guess where I am here.....
Just the day before, I was watching CNN's coverage of that man who shot and killed a woman here....
Are we's in Canada!? (I actually recognized the Peachtree Tower from playing SimCity!)
No, It's just the plaza of nations that have hosted the summer games at....

Centennial Olympic Park....Those fountains look like fun....I think this is where that bomb went off back in the '96 games?....This is titled "Gateway of Dreams", it is a sculpure of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic games.....The Georgia Aquarium, it's the largest aquarium in the world.... It was closed when I got there, darnit. The hotel shuttle driver told me that they had a whale shark, but unfortunately it died... I was supposed to go diving with whale sharks in Sorsogon.... but I digress...
At this point in my walking tour I had a hankering for a coke.... and then it appeared, a giant coke in the sky.... too bad this place wasn't open yet, I really needed a drink....
In my excitement, I almost forgot that I had just come from a nerve-wracking 7 hour exam, after sleeping for only 4 hours the night before.... the setting sun reminded me that I was actually dead tired. I wish I had more time to explore this great city, but I still needed to take the train to the airport to meet the shuttle back to the hotel. Plus, not only was I thirsty for a coke, I was starving too...
So long Atlanta! I'm gonna come back now ya hear!
Flying back home felt like I was Goolgling the Earth.... here's a cool body of water, you could see lots of cool houses/cottages around it....
Check out this nuclear power plant....
New York City!? Ever since 9/11 I find it difficult to recognize the NY skyline... can you find Lady Liberty?.... she's at 10 or 11:00....
Okay there's the Empire State, this is New York....I'll leave you with this image... flying home to Toronto, there was a wicked rainbow-like halo around the plane's shadow.... cool!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Ed.#12

Thirteen things I learned on my trip to Atlanta:
  1. I never realized how deprived we really are, weather-wise, in Toronto. I was greeted by mid-20's temperatures (70'sF) and vegetation in full bloom when I got to Atlanta. (when I got off the plane coming home to Toronto, it was back to minus-somethingC and snow)
  2. I finally memorized how to convert F to C... as a rough estimate, I just remember the following: 30F=-1/0C, 40F=4C, 50F=10C, 60F=16C, 70F=21C, 80F=27C, 90F=32C, 100F=38C
  3. Since it was my first time anywhere near the American south, I got a taste of southern hospitality, as most people were so nice, friendly, and helpful.
  4. I was reminded that there was an Olympics in Atlanta in '96, I remember watching on T.V.
  5. I learned that CNN is based in Atlanta.... I always assumed it was NY.
  6. I learned that Coca-Cola is also based in Atlanta.
  7. Atlanta has the largest aquarium in the world... it was closed by the time I got there...
  8. Apparently, I have an accent that some Atlantan's could not understand on first hearing...
  9. I was a little bit slow understanding some of the southern accents myself...
  10. Atlanta is a great city.
  11. I learned that digital cameras can only be used on airplanes at altitudes of 10,000 ft or more... at least that's Continental Airlines' policy.
  12. While waiting at the gate in Newark, NJ for my flight to Toronto, I finally recognized what some people mean when they say that Torontonians are not nice... most of them seemed relatively uptight and unfriendly... never noticed that before, but I guess I had no southern frame of reference...
  13. I'm hoping it was just a bad batch of Torontonians I got to fly with (although the girl who sat beside me was pretty nice). I'm gonna have to examine my own behaviour and attitude when I'm walking around the city. I hope that I never contribute to a bad reputation for Toronto, and what I believe to be, mostly friendly Torontonians :)
Happy Thursday Thirteeners!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I love Aruba I love Greenland I love Lesotho I love Burundi

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nermal Looks at Buddy

Last week Meeyauw blogged about The Infinite Cat Project, which I thought was pretty cool! So here's a continuation of her post c/o Nermal....

This is Nermal looking at Buddy, looking at Bristy, looking at Pili, looking at Titus, looking at Bruno, looking at The Fuzz, looking at etc.....

Happy folks! To visit more participants, click here:


Saturday, April 14, 2007


This week's photohunt theme inspired me to go out and do some star gazing, a favourite hobby of mine....

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

It's been a while since I've had a chance to go out since I've been busy studying stuff other than the stars, plus there hasn't been anything too stellar (pardon the pun) happening up there lately, and finally, winter weather is definitely not star gazing weather. The telescope on the left was my first telescope, I just took it out to take the picture... I never use it anymore since I got spoiled with the telescope on the right. That one has a computer that tracks the Earth's rotation depending on where you are in the world... that way, it follows the movement of the sky, and you don't have to keep making adjustments like you do with the manual telescope.

The tiny little pinpoint in the sky is the planet Venus, it's easy to find as it is the brightest thing in the western sky. Here's a star chart if you'd like to orient yourself and look for it, but you can't miss it....Venus is interesting because it also has phases like the moon, so it may look like a regular "star" but if you look at it through a telescope there are times when it appears as a crescent or a "half moon".

The most amazing heavenly body, however, would have to be Saturn. Again, to the naked eye, it appears like a regular "star". But through a telescope you'll actually see its rings, and if you've got good eyesight, even some of Saturn's moons are visible. Even if you don't have a telescope, you can find Saturn in the southern sky in between Leo and Cancer. It looks like a yellowish star that does not twinkle..... (the star charts are from Toronto around 9PM tonight, but should be similar anywhere in the northern hemisphere)
One day I'm going to combine astronomy with my other favourite hobby... photography, then I could post my own pics of Saturn's rings for y'all and further combine it with another favourite hobby.... blogging!

Happy Photohunting Folks and keep looking up!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nermal's Nemesis

Well, this being the Easter weekend, Nermal got a chance to see his new nemesis again. This is Nermal (doing his magnum pose).... And this is his nemesis....That's my nephew Aiden... Nermal prefers to run away and hide whenever Aiden is around, so I couldn't get a picture of them together. The last time Nermal sat still long enough so I could take their picture together, Aiden didn't do much moving around and made no noises.... and even back then Nermal didn't like him that much....Aiden must have been 3 or 4 months in that picture. Now that he's 17 months old he's a little more rambunctious. He gets very excited whenever he sees Nermal, and he will usually scream with glee and chase Nermal around. They both usually end up under the furniture....

I vow to one day get a picture of the two of them in peaceful harmony.... until then Nermal would like to wish everybody Peace and a belated happy Easter!

Happy folks! To visit more participants, click here: